Miami Dolphins spread American football cheer in London as NFL rolls into town

By Sunni Upal
The Daily Mail
October 1, 2015

The NFL is returning to London this year with three International Series contests and the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders arrived ahead of Sunday’s game. The Dolphins take on the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon in an intense AFC East divisional match at Wembley Stadium. Both teams arrive in the UK on Friday for their grudge match, but the Dolphins cheerleaders headed over a tad earlier to soak up the city.

The Miami Dolphins cheerleaders arrived in London ahead of the game against the New York Jets on Sunday

The Dolphins cheerleaders visited Wembley Stadium – the venue for Sunday’s AFC East showdown

Miami cheerleaders posed outside Wembley ahead of the first International Series game in 2015

The Dolphins will take on the New York Jets on Sunday under the Wembley arch in north London

The cheerleaders visited Wembley ahead of Sunday’s game and also spent some time at Regent’s Park in nearby north London. They also visited Abbey Road, the scene of the famous zebra-crossing photo taken by the Beatles. Many of the cheerleading squad will have never performed outside of the United States before, let alone Florida, but they will be providing some entertainment on Sunday for the expected crowd of over 80,000.

Miami Dolphins cheerleaders at Wembley Stadium in the lead up to Sunday’s game against the Jets

The cheerleaders went to Abbey Road and shot their own version of the iconic Beatles picture

The Dolphins cheerleaders pictured in Regent’s Park on Wednesday after arriving in London

The group pose for a photo at Wembley Stadium, the venue for Sunday’s American football contest

Although the Dolphins came to London last season, they were the designated away team which meant their cheerleaders did not perform at Wembley as the Oakland Raiders did instead. Come Sunday, the Dolphins will be banking on the support of their UK-based fans and cheerleaders to help them beat their divisional rivals after starting the season with two losses from their opening three games. The players themselves will practice at Saracens’ Allianz Park on Friday having flown overnight from the United States straight after their practice on Thursday.

Kristina from the Dolphins cheerleaders practices her skills at quarterback in Regent’s Park

Jessica from the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders relaxes at Regent’s Park on Wednesday

MVC on the Road in OH

The Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders headed to Canton, Ohio this weekend for the NFL’s annual Hall of Fame game (Minnesota Vikings vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers). It was a busy visit, chock full of appearances and performances leading up to the game. Click here for more on the team’s Facebook page. Click here for video on Instagram.

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MVC captains Saral, Lauryn, Jeanne, Karen, and Jacqui took the stage with Aerosmith’s Stephen Tyler at the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s first-ever Concert for Legends.

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The captains also showed off some new costumes:

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These are very similar to one worn by 2015 MVC pro bowl representative Kaylee at the Pro Bowl and at this year’s MVC open call. (This time, make it purple!)

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I believe this new vested uniform is in addition to (not instead of) the team’s signature “Baby Helga” Viking-themed costumes. The MVC really do have a wide array of costumes. They should show them off in a special photo gallery or something. It sure helps to have The Line Up right in your back yard!

On to the game!

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Looking After America’s Sweethearts: An Interview with Kelli Finglass

KelliFinglassHSWarren Allan
April 8th, 2015

At the end of March, Amstar had the pleasure to team up with the Tourism Board of the Riviera Maya and Iberostar Quetzal and Tucan Hotel in Playa del Carmen to host the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders on their annual swimsuit calendar photo shoot. During the hectic schedule, we found time to sit down for an interview with Kelli Finglass, Director of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

How long have you been a part of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders organization?

I started out as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. I cheered for five years in the 1980’s, and then I went on to be Assistant Director for one year. Afterwards, I worked in marketing for a year before becoming Director, which I’ve now been doing for the past 24 years, so 31 years in total.

What’s it like being a cheerleader?

Well, it’s a whirlwind. It’s a very busy lifestyle; a fabulous collection of friends and dancers and athletes. For performers it’s really a dream come true to be able to perform and dance, and then you mix that with the NFL and it’s an amazing experience. The best part is probably the close friendships that develop through the camaraderie of the travels and the locker room.

We were actually going to ask you what the best aspect of being a cheerleader is; so it’s the camaraderie that develops between the girls?

Well, yes, in the long-term, the camaraderie that develops between the girls is probably the best part. The experiences that they have together, for example, through trips like this to the Riviera Maya; imagine going to an area like this for eight days with 21 of your best friends. It’s just an incredible, fun, exciting, glamorous and exotic adventure.

The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are known and loved around the world. What’s the biggest stereotype about the cheerleaders?

I think a lot of times the people don’t realize that the cheerleaders have careers and have impressive educations. All of our cheerleaders have their bachelor’s degrees and 10 have their master’s degree, while some are still enrolled at various universities. Last year we had a cheerleader with her doctorate. So the old stereotype is that cheerleaders aren’t as educated, but that really couldn’t be anywhere further from the truth. From doctors and lawyers to sales personnel and school teachers, our cheerleaders have some very impressive careers.

What would be the #1 thing you would like people to know about the DCC?

Probably how impressive the girls are as individuals and collectively as a group, how close they really are. Sometimes people think that a group of women might not get along well, and that’s the furthest thing from the truth. They are very close friends and become almost like family. They have impressive educations, impressive careers. And after they’re cheerleaders they not only go on to have families and have wonderful careers, but they have been and will always be ambassadors for the Dallas Cowboys.

How many photo shoots have you done until now?

This is our 37th calendar, and this is our 24th on location.

And you’ve been a part of all of them?


What are the biggest challenges?

The biggest challenges for this project are probably weather and logistics, moving such a large group around somewhat unfamiliar places for us. We brag that the project absolutely couldn’t be possible without the expertise and the connections of Amstar. That’s the most important part of the project, our ground transportation. In general, we leave the hotel at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m.

It’s dark and we sure as heck don’t know where we’re going. Thank goodness the experts at Amstar do and they get us to the places we need to be in time to beat sunrise, photograph these majestic but fleeting moments, and capture these magnificent pictures. If we didn’t have proper ground transportation and logistical support, this project would be impossible.

What impacts you most about these photo shoots?

I would actually say that what impacts me most in terms of these projects is the global sense of hospitality, especially here in Mexico. I have really fallen in love with Mexico, and specifically with the people. Their joyful nature is very inspiring, and it’s something that makes this whole project so special, because frankly the project involves very long hours. You know, our alarm clocks are set at 3:30 a.m. and we don’t get back to our rooms until after 10:30 p.m. or so, so it can be exhausting. But the people that help us with the projects, the local people of Mexico, they’re amazing. And specifically Riviera Maya has been such a successful destination for us for five projects now and it feels like home here. A second home at least.

Why Mexico?

A lot of people say, “Well, why don’t you go to Hawaii”, you know, or “Why don’t you go to ……..,” fill in the blank, but I love Mexico. I love the people here. I love the hospitality here, it’s exceptional, and the proximity to Texas for our group; it’s just a two-hour plane ride. So, you know it’s just the perfect scenario for us. It’s actually amazing that this type of environment is only two hours from our airport in Dallas.

What’s been your favorite place to shoot here?

We’ve shot Couzmel, Cancun, all of the Riviera Maya, Isla Mujeres and they’re all spectacular for different reasons. I loved the small-town charm of Isla Mujeres. I love the sunsets and the color that we get, and the proximity to Cozumel. Last year we were in Cancun and the color of the water there, the Caribbean Sea, is just magnificent. This year, the Riviera Maya has given us such a diversity in landscapes, in architecture, and just breathtaking scenery and the Mayan scenes that we’ve seen are just all spectacular for our photography project.

How many hours go into this entire project?

When we work with someone like Amstar a lot of my hours are cut down. Last year we worked with Amstar for the first time, and although it was a new project for your company, we were very impressed by the service and professionalism. With this being our second year working together, everything has gone even that much more smoother, which is truly amazing. In fact, everything’s so well-organized, well-planned and well-executed before we even get here that it literally saves me hours and hours of sending emails and explaining what we need, and that’s a big relief for me. That way, I can focus on the creative/artistic side of the project.

On the creative side, the photographers and cheerleaders do swimsuit fittings back in Dallas. They literally fit hundreds of different swimsuits to find the best say 10 or 12 suits per girl. The photographers do test photography and come to Riviera Maya with all the photographs like a deck of cards for each cheerleader. Once here, we scout the location, pick the best sites and then off we go before sunrise. The shooting project is seven days of shooting, then we will edit. We stay here in the Riviera Maya to stay focused and in the element so that we can edit this calendar over the course of three days. I have three editors. And at that point we try to send the raw files to our publisher and start working on the files to get this calendar printed and produced by football season.

So when are we going to get our first chance to see the calendar?

For sure by November, in the fall. But we like to have it done by August so that it’s in our stadium and in bookstores by August.

You have the attention of our Amstar readers, what would be your parting words?

I’ve been very successful with my group of 50 people moving around all over Mexico with the help and expertise of Amstar. So when I come back to Mexico as a mother, I entrust my children and my family with them. When I’m here as the Director of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, I entrust our entire project to them, so that’s as much of a compliment that I can give them: that I entrust the two most important things in my life, my family and the cheerleaders, to Amstar.

Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders Make a Splash Abroad

Stunning Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders wow Wolverhampton Wanderers fans
By Steve Wollaston
Birmingham Mail
Oct 22, 2014

Wolverhampton Wanderers fans got a slice of American razzmatazz last night when the glamorous Atlanta NFL cheerleaders brought their pom-poms to Molineux.

The bikini clad babes were in town ahead of the Falcons’ grid-iron game against the Detroit Lions at Wembley on Sunday.

They made a guest appearance at Molineux last night to entertain the crowds and watch Wolves beat Middlesbrough 2-0.

Here at the Birmingham Mail, we are a big fan of the US approach to sports entertainment and recently called for more of it in the British game.

This morning we thought it only fair to share these pictures with you to show you how things should be done!

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Titans Cheerleaders Visit American Troops in Japan

Titans Cheerleaders traveled to Japan to entertain and visit with U.S. military members stationed at Camp Zama and Osaka

Titans Cheerleaders Yalea and Heidi recently traveled to Japan to entertain and visit with U.S. military members stationed at Camp Zama and Osaka.

During their six-day tour, managed by ProTour Productions, the ladies had the opportunity to experience Japanese culture, while simultaneously bringing the troops and their families a little bit of America to keep their spirits lifted high during football season.

The cheerleaders spent time with service members during meals and various events throughout the week. They also taught a cheer and dance clinic to children living on American military bases, and enjoyed a meet-and-greet with young Japanese women aspiring to become NFL Cheerleaders.

“I come from a military family, and I understand the daily sacrifices military personnel and their families make on a daily basis to serve this country,” Heidi said. “Having the chance to travel to Japan and personally thank the troops stationed there meant a lot to me. I felt so welcomed by everyone at Camp Zama, and I hope that we were able to bring our troops a little taste of home.”

It marked the fourth visit for Titans Cheerleaders to American military bases in Japan. Over the last three years, the cheerleaders have entertained American troops in Kuwait, Djibouti, Guam, Diego Garcia and Alaska, among other locations.

To see more pictures from their tour, follow Yalea and Heidi on Twitter at: @Yalea_TTC and @HeidiLWest .

Pro Tour Productions is led by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Director of Cheerleading, Sandy Charboneau. Created in 2010, ProTour Productions has worked with various entertainers, including NFL players and cheerleaders, comedians and musicians, to raise morale for the U.S. Armed Forces on six continents through dozens of international tours. For more information, visit

The ROAR back in London

Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders and players take over Westfield for special day to the delight of British NFL fans
By Sunni Upal
The Daily Mail
May 10, 2014

The Jacksonville Jaguars surprised Stratford shoppers on Saturday as they took over Westfield for a 12-hour event. Cheerleaders performed and players, including John Cyprien and Denard Robinson signed autographs for NFL fans at the shopping centre in east London. There was also an exclusive screening of Kevin Costner’s new film Draft Day, which is not scheduled to be released in the UK. The event took place with the 2014 NFL draft ongoing in New York. Jacksonville selected quarterback Blake Bortles with the No 3 overall pick on Thursday. The Jags are back at Wembley this season to take on the Dallas Cowboys as one of three International Series games in London. Jacksonville agreed to play one home game at Wembley for four seasons, the first of those being a loss to San Francisco last year.

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Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Visit Camp Casey

US soldiers receive an unexpected holiday gift
Story by Staff Sgt. Carlos Davis
2nd Infantry Division
Defense Video Imagery &Distribution System
January 2, 2014

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CAMP CASEY, South Korea – Normally around this time of year, most people are trying to finish up their holiday shopping, but a few lucky fanatics received an early holiday gift at the Hansen Field House Gymnasium and the Community Activity Center on Camp Casey.

Twelve Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleaders visited with soldiers, family members, Department of Defense civilians, and Korean nationals Dec. 20, 2013.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Sgt. 1st Class Edward Smith, from Oklahoma City, a platoon sergeant assigned to 333rd Field Artillery Target Acquisition Battery, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. “I think it is a great opportunity for the kids to interact with one of America’s favorite teams.”

As much as the troops and family members were happy to receive their holiday gift, the cheerleaders were honored to meet some of their heroes.

The United Service Organizations and the Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleaders have been teaming up to visit troops all over the world in a tradition that has been growing strong for 77 years.

“First of all, I am honored to be one of the 12 cheerleaders chosen to be a part of this opportunity,” said Olivia Rene, from Dallas, in her second year as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. “We have been doing this for a really long time and not a lot of people get to go and visit troops in their environment and to be able to tell them thank you face-to-face during the holidays.”

During the visit, the cheerleaders interacted with more than 60 boys and girls in a two-hour football and cheer youth clinic and signed more than 100 autographs.

According to Rene, their overall message to the kids during the clinic is teamwork, being a good leader, and health and nutrition.

For Maj. Michelle Myers, from New Orleans, a communications officer assigned to 2nd Infantry Division, having the cheerleaders here in Korea for the children is a wonderful opportunity.

“It is a great motivation for the girls,” said Myers. “They are able to learn the importance of everything that is incorporated in being a cheerleader, not just cheering.”

“They must have other skills associated with that,” Myers continued. “When the cheerleaders introduced themselves, a lot of them went to college and received their degrees. Just by them doing that it shows the girls it’s more to being a cheerleader than just the games.”

Having the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders here in Korea was a wonderful experience. Whether Cowboys fans or not, everyone involved made memories for lifetime.

“Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts,” said Rene. “It really means a lot to us that you accommodate us and let us come visit you. We are so thankful for your service, and as much as we can give back to you we are willing to do that.”

More on “America’s Team”

Well, that’s what they look like, right? If there was an Olympics of pro cheerleading, this is exactly what Team USA would look like. (This plus a lot of sparkles.) And they would dominate. USA! USA! USA!

Seriously, we should send these ladies to the Olympics. And the UN, and international chess competitions, and things.

(FYI, these costumes were produced by our friend Terra Saunders’ company, Dallaswear.)

We first heard about this group when a UK reader emailed James a photo of this autograph card:

Click to view full size

Personally, I was aghast. How could this kind of thing be going on, and here I am, was completely unaware? Those of you who should have told me about this, and you know who you are, should be ashamed.

In my perfect world, every team would send me a copy of their upcoming appearances each month, but alas that is not the case. Thank goodness we can rely on you faithful ones out there to keep us in the loop.

I was immediately curious because I recognized most of the ladies in the photo. I thought it was strange that someone put together an independent team of cheerleaders to go London “coincidentally” the same time as the Vikings/Steelers game. After all, there were more than enough Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders to go around. Did somebody seriously think there was a cheerleader shortage in London? The MVC were everywhere!

So I did a little snooping around, and I think I’ve pieced it together. Here’s the skinny: the league is doing a month-long “Touchdown Tour” in London and south east England, with one stop in Birmingham (a working class town north of the capital). Every few years there’s a lot of hype about having an NFL team in the UK, and I guess this is part of the latest round of hoopla. And “hoopla,” by definition, includes cheerleaders. Or should. Cheerleaders, and a big truck with lots of merchandise, games, big important trophies, and cardboard cutouts of famous football players.

I gather that the league hired e2k to produce a team of red, white, and blue cheerleaders to support the tour. E2k, for those who don’t know, is the company that produces the Charger Girls and the 49ers GoldRush. (Unlike other teams in the league, the Chargers and 49ers contract out instead of producing their own in-house dance teams. So the ladies who direct those teams are e2k employees, rather than employees of the NFL franchise.) E2k also produces the Pro Bowl Cheerleaders every year. So that’s why it was logical to have e2k produce this touring group.

Sidebar: the NFL doesn’t seem to realize it, but they are alienating the heck out everyone who resides more than half a day outside of London. The Scots, the Welsh, everyone north of Birmingham, they all feel rather insulted that the NFL isn’t bothering with them at all. I say ‘suck it up, Brits.’ I can tell you, as a resident of Los Angeles, that you’ll eventually get used to being ignored by the NFL. (Ignored, misled, used as a pawn…need I continue?)

Cheer Team USA consists of eight NFL Cheerleader alumni, five from the San Diego Charger Girls and three from the San Francisco 49ers GoldRush. I don’t know how they chose these particular eight. I’m sure tons of women wanted to go. (Free trip to England!) But I doubt that many could afford to take off an entire month for the tour, so no doubt that narrowed the field more than a little. And of course, they had to have eight who are still in fighting shape and still have (or can acquire) long, flowing cheerleader hair. So here’s who they chose:

(Note: although there are seven women in the team photo, there are eight in the group.)

San Diego Charger Girls, 2010-11, 2012-13

San Diego Charger Girls, 2010-12

San Diego Charger Girls, 2010-13
Los Angeles Clippers Spirit, 2008-10

San Diego Charger Girls, 2010-13

San Francisco 49ers GoldRush, 2010-12

San Francisco 49ers GoldRush, 2011-13

San Francisco 49ers GoldRush, 2009-12

San Diego Charger Girls, 2007-10

I’m not sure what this group’s exact name is, but on Twitter, they call themselves the “NFL All Star Team.” That’s a little misleading, but I don’t suppose “NFL Alumni Cheerleaders” has the same ring to it.

I went looking for photos of this group and hit the jackpot on Flickr. God Bless the interwebs!

Click here for 5DII (aka Bill’s) gallery
Click here for Jordi Corbilla’s gallery
Click here for Flakker’s gallery (HUGE collection that also includes many excellent photos of the Vikings Cheerleaders)
Click here for Dave Pearce’s gallery
Click here for Mark Andrews’ gallery
Click here for Tony Grimes’ gallery
Click here for Niz Mohamed’s gallery

This photo is from the Tony Grimes collection.
From left: Rachel, Megan, Marissa, Amanda, Vanesa, Lauren, Myka, and Emma.

Almost all of the photos I found are from the group’s performance at the big rally on Regent Street in the heart of London last month. What you will notice immediately is that a good 75% of the photos are pictures of Amanda. I figure there are a few possible reasons for this.
(A) She’s got some sort of mojo that causes every photographer to fall under her spell
(B) She was all “Outta my way biatches. I’M the star here”
(C) The ladies danced in a relatively tight formation that put Amanda dead center more often than not.
(D) She just happened to be in the spot where the light was best. Considering most of the other girls were in shadow, I’m going with this one. I’m guessing she couldn’t see a thing with that light in her face.

This one's from Niz

The team is under the direction of E2K producer Lindsay Rosenberg. Los Angelenos may recognize her as an alum of the Los Angeles Clippers Spirit. Perhaps she was chosen for this gig because she is already familiar with the color scheme. (Hardy har har.)

Lindsay retired from the Clippers in 2007 and has gone on to do all sorts of other cool and exciting things in the entertainment industry. In fact, I recall correctly, she was in Iron Man 2, as one of the “Ironettes.” I never saw the movie, but I can only surmise from photos that the Ironettes were pretty badass.

With one game down and one to go, the tour still has a couple of weeks left. Their last stop is a tailgate event back at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, Oct 27th, when the Jaguars host the 49ers. Both of those teams have their own cheerleaders, so get ready for poms out the wazoo.

In addition to that, the league has announced that next year, there will be THREE regular season NFL games at Wembley. I’m sure some sort of tour will hit the road next year as well. And where there’s an NFL tour, there are cheerleaders. I for one, will be keeping an eye out for the red, white, and blue. I hope none of those games involve the Patriots, Texans, or Bills, because all that red, white, and blue would be powerful confusin’. Not that the British know the difference. That weekend, every cheerleader was a Vikings Cheerleader.

The ROAR in London Jaguars game in London has local business executives preparing for different kind of victory. Local leaders see Jaguars’ trip as a great chance to sell Jacksonville.

Click here for the article and a few photos of the cheerleaders in London.